• Men/trans clinic policies

    What languages are spoken at the Men/trans clinic?

    English is the predominant language spoken at the men/trans clinic. However, several staff and volunteers understand other languages also. Depending on who is working when you call there may be someone available who can talk to you in one of the following languages: French, Gujurati, Hindi, Italian, Spanish, Ukrainian, Urdu and ASL.

    Do I need an Ontario health card?

    No. We will not turn anyone away because he has no health card, though if you do have one we would rather you use it unless you have come for HIV testing; no health card number is taken for anonymous HIV testing.

    Without a health card number the clinic cannot bill the province. If you forget your card when you come to the clinic for the first time, we would appreciate it if you called us later with the number.

    Does the clinic provide any services other than STI testing and treatment?

    The clinic has a variety of programs and services that deal with sexual health. We do not provide the same services as a standard walk-in medical clinic or a hospital emergency room.

    I’ve noticed that some people seem to get seen right away while others have to wait. What’s going on?

    People are not always seen in the order they arrive for two reasons:

      1. Not everyone comes to the clinic for the same reason. Some come to see a doctor, others for HIV testing, and still others to get the results of tests already done.
      2. The clinic’s medical team includes doctors, nurses, clinicians and HIV counsellors, each with different training and responsibilities.

    The clinic’s policy is to make sure everyone is seen as quickly as possible by finding the best match between the client and the clinic’s team members, even if, as sometimes happens, clients are seen in a different order than they arrive.

    Is the clinic accessible to wheelchairs?

    Yes. The clinic is on the second floor but we now have an elevator.

    When should I call the clinic if I need to speak to a real live human being?

    To speak to a person, call when the men/trans clinic is open. If you call at other times you will hear a recorded message. If you get a recorded message during open hours it means we are too busy to get to the phone. We try our best to answer every call right away, but our walk-in clients are always our first priority. Please call again in a few minutes.

    Are my test results sent to my regular doctor?

    No. Neither your doctor nor anyone else is notified. Any records made as a result of your visit to the clinic are confidential. Your test results stay in your file and your file stays in the clinic. Of course, if you want copies of any of your test results we can easily supply them.

  • HIV testing

    I think I may have been exposed to HIV. How long should I wait before being tested?

    The HIV test the clinic uses doesn’t actually test for the presence of HIV. Instead, it tests for the presence of HIV antibodies.

    Antibodies are produced by your body as part of its natural defense against infection.

    In most people, the production of antibodies does not start immediately after infection. So, if you feel that you might have been exposed to HIV yesterday there isn’t much point of getting tested today. For the test to be meaningful, you must wait for a few weeks. The longer you wait, the more reliable the test will be. If you were infected, HIV antibodies will appear in a blood test within three months.

    Can I just drop by the clinic for an HIV test?

    No, HIV testing at the clinic is done by appointment only.

    How soon can I get an appointment for an HIV test?

    The wait for an appointment at the men/trans clinic is approximately two weeks.

    I’ve been to the clinic before for STI tests. Why do I have to fill out another form for an HIV test?

    Because all HIV testing done at the clinic is anonymous, we don’t keep the results of your HIV test with the rest of your records. The form you fill out for an HIV test is filed by serial number and is not linked in any way to your other STI test results.

    How long does the actual HIV test take?

    Usually about 20 to 35 minutes.

    How long before I get the results of my HIV test?

    HIV test results are usually available after seven to 10 days. You can call the clinic to find out if your test result is available, but you must return to the clinic yourself to get the actual result. You do not need to schedule an appointment to get your results.

  • STI testing (other than HIV)

    How soon can I get tested for STIs other than HIV?

    All STI testing (other than for HIV) is done on a drop-in basis. In other words, you can drop by for STI testing any time the men/trans clinic is open.

    How long will I have to wait before I get to see a doctor?

    It’s hard to predict. The men/trans clinic tends to be busiest between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. During peak hours, you might have to wait up to an hour. During less busy periods, you probably won’t have to wait more than 15 minutes.

    How long before I get the results of my STI tests?

    Results for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis tests are usually available after seven to 10 days. Results of herpes tests usually take about 10 days. Although you can call the clinic, or drop by, to find out your test results, we will attempt to contact you if you test positive for any STI.

    Can I get a blood test for herpes at the clinic?

    No. Blood tests for herpes are not reliable and the clinic does not perform them. Herpes can be diagnosed by using a swab to take a sample of fluid from sores.

  • Hepatitis B vaccination

    What does it cost?

    Nothing. The clinic supplies the hepatitis B vaccine free of charge.

    When can I get vaccinated?

    No appointment is necessary. Just drop by any time the men/trans clinic is open.

    Is it just one injection?

    No, to be properly vaccinated you must get three injections. You should return for your second shot one month after your initial vaccination. You should return for your third shot five months after your second shot.

    I had my first hepatitis B two months ago, but I’ve been too busy to get the second shot until now. Should I still bother getting it

    Definitely! Most people will start to produce antibodies after the initial shot of vaccine, but not everyone does. The purpose of getting three shots is to ensure your body produces a large number of hepatitis B antibodies. Even if you are late for your second or third shot, you should be sure to get all three shots to encourage strong immunity.

  • Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)

    What is post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)?

    Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) means treating people who may have been exposed to HIV with antiviral medication, in order to prevent infection from happening. PEP has been officially approved by many countries for use following occupational exposures, but has not yet been approved for use following unsafe sex or needle sharing. Nonetheless, many doctors in hospitals and private practice are prepared to offer treatment to patients following non-occupational risks.

    Does the clinic offer PEP?

    At present, the clinic does not administer PEP to patients, and refers them to hospital emergency departments or their doctor for treatment. However, not all physicians in private practice or hospitals have been trained in counselling patients about PEP. Therefore, patients should first be counselled about the pros and cons of treatment to help them decide what course of action to take when they see a doctor. No appointment is required since patients should be counselled ASAP.